Book Review: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

Posted September 28, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Unraveled by Jennifer Estep
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Pocket Books on August 30, 2016
Pages: 373
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Killer Frost, Black Widow, The Spider's Trap, Dark Heart of Magic, Bitter Bite, "Nice Guys Bite", Bright Blaze of Magic, Snared, Kill the Queen, "Winter's Web", Last Strand, Sharpest Sting, "Unwanted"

Jennifer Estep, Unraveled

Fifteenth in the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series revolving around a “former” assassin Gin Blanco and her merry friends in Ashland, North Carolina.

My Take

Poor Gin. She cut off the head of the snake, and the body is still writhing, lol. It cracks me up that she compares running the Underworld to being CEO of the most dangerous company in the world. Full of people planning to take her out. Sure doesn’t add to restful nights when you add in the Circle and their threats.

I do like Ira. He’s so real with a very real love for the park and for Sweet Sally Sue; he also makes some excellent points about how hard the performers work. Gin should feel ashamed of herself.

That damaging reveal from Tucker triggers a number of memories for Gin. Some good, some bad. I’m guessing some of those memories have to do with Fletcher. Those bad ones…I just know Estep is going to keep us guessing about the Circle and her mother’s involvement…argh!

Hmmm, Estep has me wondering about those favors Mosley and Fletcher “exchanged”.

Unraveled doesn’t include all of the usual core characters and only makes one real advance in the storyline. I will say it was fun to read, if only to “watch” Gin trap the opposition.

The Story

There are too many indications that the Circle really does exist, and Hugh Tucker claims they know all about Gin: her house, safehouses, family, and friends. Gin won’t go through that again. She won’t put her friends at risk.

She’ll have to cut off each and every head of this hydra. Meanwhile, why not skip town. Take a break, for Finn has an unexpected inheritance he wants to check out: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park. He’s suffered a lot since his bitch mother tortured him, and Gin, Owen, and Bria will do most anything to cheer him up.

At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder — and deadlier — than any of us expected.

When you’re Gin Blanco, always bring a knife to a gunfight…

The Characters

Gin “the Spider” Blanco with her Ice and Stone elemental power is the current Underworld queen in Ashland and much prefers running her restaurant, the Pork Pit. Owen Grayson is a metal elemental and Gin’s boyfriend. Eva Grayson is Owen’s younger sister (with whom Phillip is in love). Finnegan Lane is Gin’s foster brother and a highly successful investment banker and a way with the ladies. He’s also in love with Detective Bria Coolidge, Gin’s sister. Silvio Sanchez is a vampire and Gin’s very efficient personal assistant (Poison Promise, 11).

The Pork Pit is…
…a fab barbecue restaurant. Sophia Devereaux is a Goth-wearing dwarf who does most of the cooking. Her sister, Jo-Jo, runs a beauty salon and heals Gin with her Air elemental abilities. Catalina Vasquez, Silvio’s niece, works as a waitress there.

The Underworld of Ashland

Phillip Kincaid is part of that Underworld AND best friends with Owen. Cooper Stills is a blacksmith and had been Owen’s mentor.

Jade Jamison is a smuggler who runs a variety of cleaning and other service businesses and is allied with Gin. She’s also taken over the now-deceased Dimitri Barkov‘s shipping yard. Mallory is her dwarf greats-grandmother.

Roslyn Phillips is a vampire madam and friend.

First Trust Bank is…
the bank in Ashland and is where Finn works amidst some really bad memories. Big Bertha is its most secure vault. Stuart Mosley is the head of the bank. Jimmy and Tommy are some of the new guards.

Bullet Pointe is…
…a cheesy Old West theme park and expensive resort complex Dierdre owned. She’s left it to Finn. Sweet Sally Sue, a wealthy coal baroness, was the original owner with expensive taste in jewelry. She had taken in Ira Morris, a dwarf, who had risen to the position of resort manager until Dierdre took over.

Roxanne “Roxy” Wyatt is the new resort manager and a Fire Elemental with an obsession for all things Western. She plays the sheriff in a park performance. Brody Dalton plays the leader of the Dalton gang and has been Roxy’s partner since they were kids growing up in Blue Marsh. More of the gang includes Ellis and Clyde.

The Circle is…
…supposedly the real crime syndicate running Ashland, according to Hugh Tucker, a nasty vampire. An organization to which Gin’s mother, Eira Snow, supposedly belonged. Mab Monroe had been a Fire Elemental who was the previous Underworld queen; she had also killed Gin’s mother and oldest sister, Annabella. Gin’s father, Tristan, had been murdered earlier in a “car accident”. Dierdre Shaw had been Finn’s mother (Bitter Bite, 14). Rodrigo Santos had been the professional thief partnered up with her.

Jonah McAllister had been Mab Monroe’s personal lawyer until Gin exposed him in Deadly Sting, 8. Fedora is an assassin.

The Cover and Title

The cover is deep reds with a bright red glow around Gin in her short denim jacket over the tight red T, deep blue bluejeans tucked into knee-high boots, her long brown hair blowing in the slight breeze, holding two of her silverstone knives in front of the swinging doors of the saloon. I am curious about that rune on one of the doors…is it possible it’s a circle with swords? The author’s name (at the top) and the title (at the bottom) are in yellow with the series information at the very bottom of the cover.

The title is how Gin feels, Unraveled with all that she learns about her mother.

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2 responses to “Book Review: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

  1. Thanks, Sherry!
    I’ve been enjoying Estep’s Elemental Assassin and two of her YA series — Mythos Academy (similar to but much better done than Mercedes Lackey”s Shadow Grail) and Black Blade — and do recommend them if you like a strong female protagonist.

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